How important are qualifications as a photographer?

April 29, 2013

The other day I was asked the following question by the lovely Hayley Ashforth, a photographer also from Coventry!


It got me thinking, do qualifications make you any better of a photographer than someone without? Short answer is no. But here’s my reply;


Don’t be silly, ask me anything you like 

You’ll probably get conflicting opinions on this subject. You get the people who think you need to know EVERYTHING about a camera and photography.. from how it works to what every button does.. But then sometimes these people lack creativity. Whilst they’re technically superb, their style is dull and flat..
Then there are also people who have never studied photography and are running massively successful businesses because they know how to work a camera, are creative and also are amazing business people.

I did a degree in Media Production, I took photography as a big chunk of this. Honestly, I learnt a fair bit at uni… But I learnt the majority of my art by taking photographs every single day. 
I would take photographs of a flower and see how it looked if I under exposed it and over exposed it.. I played with Photoshop for hours until I mastered a technique.

Personally, I would say working and taking photographs is the best experience you can’t buy.

I’m not knocking courses, but I think alot of people expect to go onto a course and boom! They’re a photographer..
Just because you can work a camera does not mean you have all the other skills to be a photographer 

My advice is to photograph anyone who will let you be their model. Practice makes perfect!

Don’t beat yourself up because you don’t have qualifications..

What’s everyone else’s opinions?



I don’t think it’s necessary to have any formal qualification. If I was looking for a photographer for whatever reason I would be more interested in their portfolio and creativity as that tells me way more than they have X qualifications. But I am sure there are useful things one can learn on courses.

Excellent Blog post though!


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